02 March 2009


We were THIS close to being done with our shift... fifteen minutes more and my relief would have walked through the door. We had already done three flights including one accident scene, and we were all just.plain.tired.

Our patient was a 40-ish gentleman named Schwallernfechter (not his real name, but close), with a bleed in his skull. We transferred him to our stretcher and loaded him aboard the helicopter routinely. The flight to the receiving hospital with a strong tailwind was short... 10 minutes or so. We like to give the receiving hospital a call 10 to 15 minutes out to make sure they are expecting the transfer and so they can have security ready for our arrival. I notified my nurse, who would make the radio call, that we were ten minutes from landing.

As she composed her thoughts for the radio transmission she was about to make, my male paramedic said, "I once had a Swollenfecter!"
We were all so tired we were giddy. My nurse started giggling. It was infectious.
Over the intercom I said, "At my age, I'd love to have a Swollenfecter!"
It was good none of us were drinking anything... the mics wouldn't have survived the explosion.

My nurse keyed the mic to give her report, thought about what had been said and giggled again, releasing the mic switch.
Paramedic and I both hooted!
We've all been there...
Every time she'd key the mic and try to call the hospital she'd giggle again, and we'd giggle with her. We were so tired we were acting like drunkards.
She couldn't get the job done. Time got so short my paramedic had to make the call.
I was impressed he had that kind of discipline...
I giggled to myself all through his report.

Have you ever had a Swollenfecter?



Have I ever. It was at the receiving station at Ft. Polk, La, for basic training. The drill Sgt, day 2, was a funny looking guy who kept yelling at our group, and me and another guy couldn't stop laughing. Needless to say, that was the last time that ever happened.

cary said...

My younger brother and I had a case of the Swollenfecters after we had rolled out the bride's white runner - in the Catholic church where our sister was getting married (we were very young) and we laughed very, very hard into the carpeting in the choir loft so as to avoid drawing attention to ourselves.

The organist was having a hard time playing, though. She wanted to blame us, I am sure, for her own case of Swollenfecter.